Merck Serono, the biopharmaceutical division of pharmaceutical conglomerate Merck, has made an investment in the series A round for US-based reproductive health company Auxogyn through its corporate venturing fund, Merck Serono Ventures. The round closed on Thursday, with Auxogyn having raised $20m. Merck was joined in the round by TPG Biotech, the life sciences investment division of investment firm TPG, as well as venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).  Auxogyn’s lead product is Eeva, a non-invasive diagnostics system which tests embryo viability for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) using analysis software which measures embryo development. Eeva is currently undergoing clinical tests, and Auxogyn is looking to commercialise it sometime in the second half of 2012.    Nilesh Kumar, director at Merck Serono Ventures, said: "As the leader in fertility, Merck Serono is committed to investing in innovative technologies to improve the chance of a successful IVF pregnancy. This investment reflects our confidence in achieving this goal." Auxogyn also disclosed that Mark Gudiksen, principal at TPG Biotech, and Beth Seidenberg, partner at KPCB, had joined in the board of directors, but not whether they were recent appointees or had stepped aboard during the round’s first tranche in May 2010.

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